Balls and Chains (Outlaw MC Book 6) by James Cox ~ Book Review by Lirtle

Balls-and-Chains-cover-1Title: Balls and Chains (Outlaw MC Book 6)

Author: James Cox

Publisher: Evernight

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Rating: 3.25 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/30/2015

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Apocalyptic/dystopian, BDSM, Erotica, M/M Romance, Science Fiction

Blurb:

What if bad guys ruled the world and the good guys were the outlaws?

The war has begun. The MCs of Mars are fighting against the corrupt government and their archaic rules: women are used for breeding, dark-skinned men are slaves, and homosexuals are executed. Whip is the kinky club member who is the best with current technology. He has the task of hiding out at Harley’s Hover Car Parts to monitor the government. He never planned on finding out the sexy ginger Harley had a crush on him. But Whip isn’t like most men. He grew up with a harsh father that taught him early how to torture people. Whip turned that horror around and now he can’t live a vanilla life. He has whips and cages and toys that would make any sane man run.

The city on Mars becomes a battle for the future of our species. But the battle between Harley and Whip is just beginning. Will these two men find love with balls and chains?

My View:

This book wasn’t on par with most of the others in the series. There isn’t a lot of interaction between MC members, only a few moments of Cox’s humor (trademark, I would even venture to call it), and the usual efficient character set-up wasn’t there. I could sense it, though, as both Whip and Harley (whom we’ve encountered briefly before) piqued my interest. Even on that point, however, they were more interesting on their own than together. For me, the chemistry wasn’t really there. It certainly wasn’t compared to just about all of the other pairings in this series.

There was a boatload of potential for this, with the war full-on, the coalition set between the different MCs, and Wexman and the peacekeepers having finally gone too far for anyone to ignore, the breaking point had been reached. Unfortunately, most of this was given short shrift in treatment. Most of it was background for Whip and Harley’s exploration of each other and the kink they learn they have in common.

Speaking of, I do like that Cox explored something here, something new that he hadn’t done previously. It does spark some moments of genuine care and surprise. It’s so easy to see some of the greatness lurking in the characters of Whip and Harley. Heck, they’re not lurking, they’re in plain view, like right behind a pane of glass while going unused. Maybe more than the fact that this is how things went down is the fact that it surprised me, given how well Cox has portrayed his characters in the previous books. All of the little details, the connections between these people, the feeling that I know their histories and the import of them, how all of that affects what they’re doing right now, these weren’t nearly as strong in this book as the others.

Whip said it best: ”My Club. My Family.”

I also like this mix of old-fashioned and futuristic atmosphere and storytelling Cox has utilized throughout this series, including this book. Simultaneously, there’s a feeling of restraint while these characters are one hundred percent unapologetic about how they feel and what they’re doing and why. On one hand, the cursing that I love is ever-present, while old school turns of phrase are used for some emotional and intimate scenes.

This book probably qualifies as erotica more than any of the others in this series so far. Most of the time is spent with Whip and Harley and all of the licking and grabbing and biting and toy usage, including something sharp.

The writing starts out a bit rough in the beginning, a bit of backsliding honestly, but starts to smooth out about halfway through. More of Cox’s clear ability to set a scene and suck me shows up, especially in the final quarter. Same goes for that humor that I love. Whenever you get the guys from the MC together, even if over long distance comms, the camaraderie shines through and their interactions feel effortless and meaningful. I also missed the plentiful descriptions of Mars!

So, after all that, will I continue on in this series? You bet your sweet bippy, I will. I want to find out what happens after the final act here, I need to find out what happens with Deviant, Tage, Outlaw, Liam, Justice, Romeo, and all the people involved. I need to know! Despite this being a subpar entry for me in the series, I’m definitely reading on.

Links

Balls and Chains (Outlaw MC Book 6) on Goodreads
Evernight
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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